CHICAGO – If you bring the cliche out, that’s OK. Many times, it’s fitting in the series that began at Wrigley Field on Friday.
Records can be tossed out when the Cubs and White Sox meet during the regular season, as they have now every year since 1997. Going into their game on Friday, the south siders had a 65-63 edge in the games played since that year.
The script was flipped from previous years as the White Sox came in as the contender, leading the American League Central by 9 1/2 games. A week removed from trading away the team’s core, the Cubs are looking to the future, sitting six games under .500.
But as they’ve done many times, these two teams going opposite directions put on an entertaining show at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. But in the end, the trends of the previous four months held true in the first of a three-game series.
After losing a three-run lead in the eighth inning, the White Sox got it back in the tenth thanks to a four-run inning, highlighted by Brian Goodwin’s two-run homer. That was good enough to give the south siders a 8-6 victory over the Cubs to start the weekend of games.
The offensive finish was a departure from the first seven-and-a-half innings where the pitchers ruled the day. But the White Sox surge in offense was enough to improve them to 64-46 on the season while the Cubs fall to 52-59.
The big tenth inning came after a bit of a shocking moment for White Sox fans, who watched Craig Kimbrel have a rare off day in his return to Wrigley Field with the team up 4-1. After surrendering two singles, Andrew Romine knocked a three-run homer just over the basket in right field to tie the game.
Liam Hendriks would hold the Cubs down for the next 1 1/3 innings, not yielding a run to force extra innings. There the White Sox got to the Cubs’ bullpen, starting with Manuel Rodriguez.
After Jose Abreu reached base, Goodwin had his moment, sending a ball into the left field bleachers for his 7th homer of the season to make it 6-4. After an error allowed Andrew Vaughn to reach base and Yoan Moncada singled, Gavin Sheets chased Rodriguez with an RBI hit of his own to make it 7-4.
Tim Anderson would get a single off Michael Rucker to make it a four-run lead.
Yet the Cubs weren’t done, as Frank Schwindel hit a two-run homer off Garrett Crochet to cut the lead in half. But the left-hander was able to retire the side after that to finish an eventful afternoon.
Before that, the star of the game was Lance Lynn, who allowed only one run in six innings, striking out eight batters with just two walks. Kyle Hendricks held his own over six innings as well, allowing runs only in the fourth inning on singles by Andrew Vaughn then Seby Zavala.
Cesar Hernandez appeared to break the game open in the top of the eighth inning with a two-run homer off Kyle Ryan to make it 4-1. But that wouldn’t be the end, as the crosstown rivals put on an offensive show to start off their rivalry in 2021, with the south siders coming out with the first win.